Welcome to the Himalaya Atlas of Aerial Panoramas, one of a series of collections of photorealistic aerial views created by Dr. William A. Bowen, professor emeritus of the Department of Geography at California State University Northridge. The atlas contains over 700 computer generated panoramas that portray every square foot of the vast range between Arunachal Pradesh on the East and Uttar Pradesh on the West, including all of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and portions of Tibet and the lowlands of India. Seeing the Earth from a high place allows us to grasp quickly the essential geography of vast regions that eludes those who are earth bound. Most of these panoramas were created between virtual elevation of 50 to 200 kilometers above sea level with a virtual 35 mm camera equipped with a 22 mm lens. Normally the vistas encompass much more than a thousand square miles (259,000 hectares) of the earth's surface.
Because of our lack of geographic experience and the unusual perspectives offered by this atlas, I recommend that users acquire copies of detailed national and regional maps and atlases. Equipped with such references, Himalaya Atlas users will be able to orient themselves better and identify all manner of detail. An outstanding introduction to the geography and people of these mountains is the Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya, authored by David Zurick and Julsun Pacheco and published by The University Press of Kentucky in 2006.
The panoramas in this collection are named for urban places or principal natural features occurring within the field of view. The author has tried his best to locate and name each image as accurately as possible. Compass direction abbreviations are normally appended to each name in order that atlas users will at least have some general sense of the direction in which they are looking. Constructive comments and suggestions are always welcomed and should be emailed to Dr. Bowen.
One of the unfortunate realities of Web publications is that every user's computer screen will render the panoramas differently. Serious users may need to download the images and modify image color balance using their own software. The pictures are best viewed on a large monitor, because the panoramas measure 2100 x 900 pixels.
It is hoped that these unique aerial views will provide a new and valuable resource for those who seek to understand better the character of the Earth's mightiest mountain range and the people who occupy this high country. Many other atlases and aerial flights may be found in the California Geographical Survey's Electronic Map Library.
The Survey is a creation of Dr. William A. Bowen, and it was hosted for almost twenty years by the Department of Geography at California State University, Northridge from the 1990s until 2016. Changing university policies required its transfer to Dr Bowen’s private website in 2016. It is the California Geographical Survey's intention to continue providing a variety of important geographic resources to the entire Internet community.
Users should be aware that all original materials contained within this geographic archive are copyrighted and the sole property of Dr. William A. Bowen. Use of such copyrighted items without the permission of the owner is strictly forbidden. Individual students and teachers everywhere are specifically granted the right to use all materials for class assignments and lectures. In some cases, the author may extend additional legal rights to specific off-campus individuals and groups whose works he deems to be in the general public interest. Dr. Bowen's efforts are not funded by any government agency or private sponsor. His work is not in the public domain. Every item is copyrighted and is distributed with the clear understanding that its use for commercial and non-commercial purposes outside of public school and university classrooms is forbidden without his expressed approval. Please contact Dr. Bowen for additional information concerning copyright issues and the development of commercial projects.
California Geographical Survey People
Bill Bowen lives in Roseville, California, nearly four hundred miles from the university he served for thirty-four years. Bill was educated as a geographer at U.C. Berkeley. He was privileged to have taken courses from Professors Clarence Glacken, John Kesseli, Ted Oberlander, James Parsons, Carl Sauer, Hilgard Sternberg, James Vance, Gunther Barth, Peter Birkeland, J. B. Jackson, and George Stewart. He joined the faculty at California State University, Northridge in 1970 and taught there until his retirement in 2004. Several years before his retirement, he decided to create the California Geographical Survey in the late 1990s as a tool for better communicating his ideas and maps to students and other explorers who frequent the Web. He continues his work today at home, in a closet that contains two high-speed Macintosh computers.
Although educated as a cultural geographer and physical geographer in the Sauerian tradition, he has always been fascinated with maps. This evolving collection of photorealistic, panoramic maps of the earth's landscapes can be traced to an undergraduate map reading course taught by Professor John E. Kesseli in 1962 and a cartography course taught by Professor Ted Oberlander in the Spring of 1963. He is forever in the debt of these fine scholars and the many other teachers who touched his life.
Survey staff: grandson Thomas, Janine,
grandson Sean, grandson Will, son Bill, Kathy, grand-daughter Jillian, Me.